Boyd and Rodriguez combined for 51 points… Bucs capture SoCon opener in Charleston

Published 12:46 am Friday, December 6, 2019


 CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 4, 2019) – Seniors Tray Boyd III (Memphis) and Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) both turned in career performances to help lead ETSU men’s basketball to a 96-84 road win at The Citadel on Wednesday night inside McAlister Field House.

The Buccaneer duo had a career night in scoring as they combined for 51 points, while five players finished in double figures en route to ETSU capturing the Southern Conference opener.

Boyd scored 23 of his career-high 25 points in the first half, while Rodriguez registered 26points and 16 rebounds for his 17th career double-double. Boyd finished 10-of-19 from the field and accounted for five of the Bucs’ nine made threes, while Rodriguez went 13-of-15, marking
the most made field goals by an ETSU player since Kevin Tiggs totaled 15 back on March 4, 2009, against Stetson.

Daivien Williamson (Winston-Salem, N.C.) – fresh off his team-high 20-point effort last time out at Little Rock – finished with 16 points, while Lucas N’Guessan (De Lier, Netherlands) totaled 11 points (4-of-4 from the field) and six rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.
Isaiah Tisdale (Lexington, Ky.) capped off the scorers with 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
As a team, ETSU outrebounded the Bulldogs by 25 (45-20), while cashing 16 offensive rebounds into 25 second-chance points. The Bucs also tallied 52 points in the paint and held a plus-39 margin in bench scoring, 52-13.
Overall, ETSU shot 55 percent from the field, while its 36 made field goals and 96 points marked season highs. The Bucs also posted a 71 percent clip (15-21) at the free-throw line with Williamson going 6-of-6.

With the win, ETSU improved to 8-1, 1-0, marking its best start since 1990-91 when the Bucs opened 14-1. The Blue and Gold have now rattled off five straight wins, and lead the all-time series over The Citadel, 44-17.
The Bulldogs had their two-game win streak snapped and moved to 3-5, 0-1.

The Bulldogs kept things close for the first 13 minutes, but with The Citadel ahead 32-28, ETSU mounted a 19-2 run – including a personal 11-0 spurt by Boyd – to go ahead 47-34 with just over four minutes remaining before the break.
Eventually, the Bucs carried a double-digit lead into halftime when Rodriguez’s lay-up in the final seconds made it 54-44.

ETSU shot 61 percent (22-36) in the first half while making 8 of its 16 attempts from beyond the arc. Boyd was 9-of-13 from the field and Rodriguez was 5-of-6, while the Bucs scored 14 points off six Bulldog turnovers.

Following the break, ETSU saw its lead balloon to 21 in the opening 10 minutes when Boydassisted on a dunk to N’Guessan, making it 75-54.
The Bucs again led by 21, 80-59, with 6:14 remaining, but Citadel’s pressure allowed them to chip away at its deficit and pulled within 10
twice before ETSU walked away with the 12-point win in the conference opener.
Kaiden Rice led all scorers with 30 points, while Kaelon Harris added 16 points and six rebounds in the losing effort.

The Citadel shot 49 percent from the field (31-63) and only turned the ball over nine times. ETSU concludes its road swing Saturday night when the Bucs face North Dakota State at 8 p.m. EST inside Scheels Center.

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